I was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in early 2013, after ten years of searching for an answer to my chronic migraines which turned into chemical sensitivities, mold sensitivities and neurological symptoms. My health became drastically worse about one month after I married my husband, when I moved into his home- a brand new starter house. You may not be aware that new building materials are highly toxic and give off chemicals such as formaldehyde in the form of a gas. Some people with strong bodies have no noticeable problems with this, but I was not one of those people. My body was so damaged from the Lyme Disease I did not yet know I had, that the chemical off gassing triggered downward spiral. We barely had a newlywed stage and jumped right into "in sickness and in health". The saddest part of this experience for me has been fighting for better health instead of being able to immerse myself into my marriage right away. I'm not able to work full time, because the stress of being mentally "on" for forty hours a week is too much for my adrenals to handle.Read More
Question: Letting go. In the process of being diagnosed with Lyme Disease, what things have you had to sacrifice and let go of? And how do you cope and adjust to this new way of life?
Keri: Letting go is very hard, especially because I really loved my extremely active and on-the-go life, and I miss it. By the age of 26 I had traveled to over 20 countries, lived abroad twice, and earned two college degrees. I find myself saying “before I got sick I did this...” “when I was healthy I was very...” so that type of language and thought implies that I can’t be myself or be who I am because of my symptoms and how this disease has plagued my brain. Besides the stress and pain of being sick, we are sick with bacterias that our government denies and doesn’t even know how to test for or treat! Now that I am out of my brain fog and have my short-term memory back, I adjust and cope by practicing non-attachment from yoga, realize that every moment, emotion, and body ache is fleeting, and I tell myself and my body how much I love them.Read More
But my favorite self-love coping tools include: mindfulness + meditation practices, journaling exercises, spending time outdoors, playing with my awesome pup, and connecting with others who understand (Instagram is a great way to do this!).
Question: Following your passion. What activities do you do for yourself that help feed your mind and body? And how do these activities help you stay motivated through the good and the bad?
Adrienne: I like to consider myself a Jackie-of-all-trades, and have so many different passions. I enjoy learning, creating, connecting, traveling, and playing! Spending time outdoors nourishes me on so many levels – physically, mentally, and spiritually. Even if all I can do is sit out in my backyard – the sun, sounds, and earth are so healing.Read More
This is, Kristen, known to many as, Rainbow Dash (her trail name).
A little bit about her and her "home"...
I get my mail in a small town in rural Kentucky. I've been told that "my people" are in Asheville, NC, or the Pacific Northwest, but I've yet to live in either of those locales. I'm a bit of a nomad; I had five address in eight months in 2013. But, hey, "not all those who wander are lost," right? I turned 26 on trail this year; I celebrated with a road walk detour because the PCT had a fire closure. I was bitten by the tick that gave me Lyme four days after I turned 22. It was two years before I became noticeably (and severely) ill and nearly another year before I was diagnosed.
Where did your passion of hiking derive from. Was it recent, or does the itch go way back?Read More
Q: Letting go. In the process of being diagnosed with Lyme Disease, what things have you had to sacrifice and let go of? And how do you cope and adjust to this new way of life?
Hannah: Having a chronic disease means leading a double life. I have my “normal” life, filled with going out with friends, running to class, and indulging in pizza. Then I have my “Lyme life,” which consists of juggling dozens of doctor appointments, scrambling to refill prescriptions, and spending hours in bed. Yet leading both of these lives is impossible. Something has to give. I had to compromise my academic career – something that has been a primary focus in my life for years. Succeeding in school is what drives me; I always want to learn more and do better in the process. My high expectations for myself have been shattered since being diagnosed with Lyme disease.Read More
We hiked for nearly two months and approached the Vermont border. I can't describe how amazing it felt to be so far along the trail, with only a few states left, especially when those states held some of the best hiking yet to come.
The days heading into Vermont turned strange however. I noticed Suzanne (the girl I mentioned before / the one this story is really all about, even though it has taken me far too long to get to the point) just wasn't herself. At first I honestly though she might just be on her period. We had overcome this obstacle however, quite smoothly I might add.Read More